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‘Darker shades of brown’ police culture of solidarity, isolation and cynicism attitudes by the South African National Defence Military police officials.

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The study seeks to determine whether a random and representative sample of all South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Military Police Officials (MPOs) have attitudes evincing of police culture themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism. The study adopted a quantitative approach due to the large number of the sample and nature of the study based on number of variables. The research hypotheses required that the study be generalisable to the overall population of the SANDF MPOs. Sensitivity had to be exercised regarding systematic biases while selecting the sample mean. In addition, because the overall purpose of the study required analysis of the sub-group effects among the overall sample, a Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) stratified sampling design had to be employed in order to adequately measure sub-group differences. The stratified sampling design required a much larger overall sample than would have been necessary for testing of hypotheses for the whole population. Using a survey format, the researcher employed a non-experimental ex post facto (cross-sectional) design. The study established in general that SANDF MPOs have attitudes in support of police culture themes of solidarity and isolation. Although the study did not find attitudes evincing of police culture cynicism, more than half of the SANDF MPOs evinced attitudes in support of the police culture theme of cynicism. Statistical significant differences, differences of kind, and differences of degree, were found in relation to all the categorical independent variables (that is, SANDF unit, rank, experience, race, gender, and education). The study is the first of its kind in the world to establish whether military police officials have attitudes evincing of public police culture themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism. The study provides an empirical peek into military police culture but allows for invaluable comparisons (differences and similarities) between public police culture and military police culture, and contributes novel knowledge to broader police culture, in general. Keywords- Police, public police, military police, police domain, policing, culture, police culture, police culture themes, police culture theme of solidarity, police culture theme of isolation, police culture theme of cynicism, South Africa, South African National Defence Force, South African National Defence Force Military Police.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.